Politics and politicians can cause different reactions in different people. Following the sacking of a government advisor who stated that black people were less intelligent than white people, Jem Doulton took up his anger and unleashed it through ‘My Brain’s In My Skin’. With a roaring soundscape, the single draws on illusory concepts and his musings of the time to ask some serious questions.
Joining his in this unleashing of passion is her good friend Thurston Moore (guitar). The pair met when Doulton played the drums with him and Rosin Murphy. Doulton has also been involved in a range of musical projects leading him to meet distinctive and powerful musicians who are all featured on his album Perfect Picture. With this single, he is showcasing his lyrics chops and inundating listeners with dark-wave sensibilities.
The beats that grab you in the opening of ‘My Brain’s In My Skin’ hook into you and pull you further into the track. The twinkling bells that ring out over them are light before the soundscape takes a heavy turn. There is an interesting weight to the music that belies the messaging of the track. The layers of the opening continue into the heaviness creating amazing counterpoints to the steady shove of the melody. With a touch of industrial stylings, the music drones into your soul for a spiral of darkness.
The vocals pick up the industrial edge and shine. The spoken word vocals sound like they are coming over a loudspeaker helping them hit in a different way. Presented like a speech, the vocals make you really pay attention while the backing vocals rise from below like the chanting of a crowd. This arrangement is masterfully used to bring the message of the single home and make you really think about it. It is worth taking the time to really listen to the lyrics. The use of a child’s vocals at the end sends shivers through you and leave you reeling.
Jem Doulton hits you in the chest with the heavy tones of ‘My Brain’s In My Skin’ while making you question the perspectives of certain people. The melody roars through your senses and you are unable to do anything but ride the wave of sound. Using spoken word vocals brings a new poignancy to the lyrics that hit home really hard.